Featured Stories

New Bees In Town

April 15, 2020
By Joel Sansho Benton Last Saturday a group of new residents entered the monastery for the first time—about thirty thousand of them to be more precise. On Saturday I picked up three new packages of bees from Hudson Valley Bee Supply to replace the hives we lost over the winter. Each package holds approximately ten thousand bees, each with its own queen. Continue reading “New Bees In Town” »
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Conversation: A New Journal from the MRO

April 8, 2020
Print is in some ways an outmoded format, lacking the speed of digital or the ease of consuming audio/video content, so it was with some degree of soul-searching that the Monastery staff decided to collect a years' worth of teachings and practice in the new annual journal Mountains & Rivers: Zen Dharma and Practice. Continue reading “Conversation: A New Journal from the MRO” »
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Reflections on Temple Resident Life Under Quarantine

April 1, 2020
Residency at our Brooklyn Temple has always been an interweaving of NYC energy with the Zen Buddhism of a lay practice center. In these early weeks of the pandemic, our current residents Oliver, Jo and Brian, have shifted gears from their personal and Temple related routines. Here they offer an inside view of their lives and Zen training, greatly changed and yet in important ways still very much the same. — MR Continue reading “Reflections on Temple Resident Life Under Quarantine” »
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Digital Refuge in the MRO

March 27, 2020
By Eve Romm Until two weeks ago, joining the residents for zazen meant hurriedly finishing the dinner dishes, throwing on my coat and heading down the road to the Monastery. Opening the front door, I would be greeted by the smell of incense and the wooden dragon's arresting gaze before finding an empty seat in the zendo. These days, sitting with the sangha has a very different routine. As 7:30 pm approaches, I along with practitioners living down the road or as far away as New Zealand will make room on our altars for a laptop and open the Monastery...
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Cabin Quarantine Hermitage

March 25, 2020
By Taikyo Gilman I'm sitting outside the Sangha House on day nine of quarantine away from other residents and monastics (I get wifi here), and its a bright, drizzly spring day. A friend down with Covid-19 after we visited—maintaining appropriate distance—and so protecting the other 35 residential sangha members, including our monastic teachers, is a huge priority. So just in case (I feel fine, so far so good), I am practicing solo. The escalation of new cases in New York this week has us all on edge. Continue reading “Cabin Quarantine Hermitage” »
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Cloister Living in the ‘New Normal’ at ZMM

March 20, 2020
The garden is always a refuge but especially now—the delights of the greenhouse and the fresh earth outside are intoxicating—spring has truly come. In the "new normal" at the Monastery and the Temple, life continues with adjustments great and small. Here are some highlights from our new precautions and practices as the reality of social distancing in a communal monastic cloister comes home to us. Continue reading “Cloister Living in the ‘New Normal’ at ZMM” »
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Excerpt: Creative Process as Art Practice

March 18, 2020
This excerpt is from Mountains and Rivers, the annual book-length journal of the MRO which features original contributions from dharma teachers like Hojin Sensei, an artist, ceramicist and director of training at Zen Mountain Monastery. Learn more here about the journal and enjoy this teaching Hojin offered on creativity, connection and spiritual integrity. Hojin Sensei: You can do an entire art practice with your eyes closed, so it’s not about technique. It’s about connections, about staying connected, turning off those voices that judge. Or, let the judge do your work! What does ‘judging my work’ actually look like? What would...
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Update: Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

March 17, 2020
Like many communities around the world, at both Zen Mountain Monastery and the Zen Center of NYC we are concerned about the spread of Coronavirus COVID-19 and are monitoring the unfolding events related to the virus. Continue reading “Update: Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic” »
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Excerpt: Manifesting Buddha

March 6, 2020
This excerpt, Manifesting Buddha by Geoffrey Shugen Arnold, is from the new journal Mountains & Rivers: Zen Dharma and Practice and explores how Buddhist practice manifests in our daily lives as illustrated by the Ten Guiding Values of the Beyond Fear of Differences. The journal features original contributions of dharma teachings and more from MRO dharma teachers, sangha artists and practitioners. Continue reading “Excerpt: Manifesting Buddha” »
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Spring Ango 2020

February 29, 2020
by Jeffrey Gyokudo Roberts Even though the Catskills are frozen and quiet right now, if I close my eyes, I can already hear the returning song of the Hermit Thrush and smell the tulips blooming.  Slowly the Esopus Creek, covered in ice, will loosen its grip on Winter and Spring will come. Continue reading “Spring Ango 2020” »
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